Round 3 – Sal’s Preview: Time for some hero worship



Greetings All,

What a night for footy with Buddy notching his 1000th goal.  He has provided so many highlights over his career and while he has had a few injury issues in recent times he is still “prime time” and continues to add to the highlight reel.  The challenge to come for Sydney will be who’s next?  They have recruited Plugger, Barry and Buddy to kick goals and put bums on seats – the great man is in his twilight, reckon a few clubs need to lock up their big forwards.

If we are talking “prime time” then we have to discuss Shane Warne.  It was a privilege to be at his memorial as it was a privilege to watch him through his cricket career.  He transcended the game and became the rock star for the rock stars.  He spent time with the rich and famous but always found time for his fans and the public, so many stories about his compassion and care.  Warnie had his flaws and vices but you saw was what you got and he was bloody good at cricket!


Owen too ($1.76) vs Tuan Oh ($2.28)

It’s danger time for the Dogs, a loss this week won’t knock them out of contention but will have them chasing the season.  Mind you they did that in 2016 defeating their opponents this week in the decider that year.  They had patches against both the Tigers and Blues where they were very good and a bit of efficiency at goal in the last quarter could have had them “one ‘n one”.  The Swans have been effective and efficient in scoring in their two matches, they will need to maintain that to get this one.  On their side they look a much better balanced team than the Dogs.  Bevo has a great midfield but they are heavily dependent on Aaron Naughton at one end and so far their key defenders have not been winning enough contests.  The Swans have the defenders and weapons to exploit that at both ends.  They look well placed to take this one, however I saw enough late in the game from the Dogs to see them take that momentum into this one and notch their opening win.


On Tracc ($1.22) vs Zacked ($5.30)

The Premiers have a few injuries but not quite on the scale of the Bombers who could least afford to lose Zach Merrett for an extended period.  Will the Bombers put more time into Christian Petracca, he has racked up over 35 possession in his last three matches.  We have seen plenty of accumulators racking them up with cheapies behind the ball – the difference with Christian is the number of damaging touches he gets up forward.  Not sure it will make much difference with Melbourne to go on their winning way.


Sloane Down ($3.25) vs Grayed Out ($1.44)

One of the Adelaide teams will go 0-3 after this showdown with both clubs putting in poor showings last week.  The Crows further impacted with Rory Sloane missing another week, on the plus side the other Rory returns.  Port though are missing three of their best forwards in Dixon, Gray and Fantasia out of the side.  So much hanging on this one it is a shame it is up against the Melbourne-Essendon game.  Don’t expect high quality but do expect high intensity – who will handle it better, just going with the Port who should just have an edge in the middle.


Damn that Jack ($1.66) vs Boult from the Blues ($2.46)

Well it wasn’t Jack that cut down the Giants but his replacement in Noah Balta did.  The Giants did have some personnel issues and they continue losing Hopper, Davis and Lloyd.  They take on the Suns who were competitive against the premiers with Levi Casboult slotting in nicely.  He and Chol should present issues for the Giants defence.  The Giants lacked energy last week which I am sure will be addressed, however reckon the Suns midfield with Miller, Rowell and Anderson will create enough chances for their team to prevail.


Presenting a Headache ($2.88) vs Sticks it up ‘em ($1.51)

Taylor Adams may have finished last week with a migraine, his team though are presenting as big a headache for their opposition.  They have completely turned around their game style, no matter about the opposition the fans love it.  Slight hiccup this week losing McCreery and Kreuger.  The Cats were the unfortunate opposition with the Buddy show, however with a bit more efficiency the game could have been much closer.  This week they have the limelight with Joel Selwood breaking Steven Kernahan’s record for most games captained.  The pace of the Pies will challenge the Cats, however suspect the midfield depth and their record in milestone games will get the Cats over the line.


Lachie Him Up ($1.10) vs Opportunity Knocked ($9.20)

Lachie Neale racked up plenty last week also without a lot of attention a repeat will see a similar result against North.  The Roos did not take full advantage of the Covid ravaged Eagle but did enough to get their first win.  Doubt they will get their second this week.


Cripptology ($1.67) vs Sam I am ($2.48)

Not sure the fixturing team expected these two to be 2-0 given the early Sunday time slot.  A great test for both the Blues and the Hawks.  Will Hawthorn be able to handle the Blues midfield – or even exploit them.  While the Blues have been powerful in the middle they also were challenged late by the pace of the Dogs, not many smarter midfield generals than Sam Mitchell.  Both teams got great value from their forwards last week, both of them look well matched against their opponents.  The Hawks must cover the Charlie-Harry combination that combined for nine majors last week.  Suspect the Blues might get the edge in the rucks and then the middle to take them into heady 3-0 territory.


It’s good to be the King ($2.00) vs Jack’s Back ($1.98)

A great effort from a couple of Saints who were down the previous week with Max King and Jack Higgins kicking four goals each to sink the Dockers.  Kudos also to Brett Ratten, trusting his coaching and management to get the right response from Higgins after a fair bit of exposure the previous week.  They take on the Tigers who get Jack Reiwoldt back also not sure it matters after the performance of Noah Balta last week.  They got back to Tiger footy last week and suspect they will deliver again.


Covid Heavy ($1.63) vs Covid Light ($2.16)

Not sure how many Eagles will be allowed back or how many Dockers will pick up the lurgy – so impossible to pick on a Thursday.  They won’t even pick their teams.  The major news being that Nat Fyfe will be out for at least another few weeks.  At this stage reckon Eagles will get enough back to take this one out.


Track Time

All the focus goes to Sydney with the possibility that the track will be good enough at Randwick for the first week of “The Championships”.  With rain predicted for the rest of the week there is every chance that they will be postponed – but we will try and find a couple of winners in the bog.

Race 6 – Sires Produce Stakes (G1, 1400m, 2yo SW)

Impossible to go against Fireburn (12) after her brilliant win in the Golden Slipper.  Closed late, handled the wet would be surprised if any of the vanquished go any closer.  Let’srollthedice (3) won the Melbourne edition of this race so distance is not an issue and has also won on a heavy track, looks the main danger.  She’s Extreme (13) and Daumier (1) were OK in the Slipper and could run in the placings and also wary of Maher-Eustace presenting Warby (8) at just his second start.

Selections – 12-3-13-8


Race 7 – The Australian Derby (G1, 2400m, 3yo SW)

On a decent track would have said similar about Hitotsu (1), won the Australian Guineas on a soft track but will have seen nothing like this.  If he handles it he wins.  Baker-Forsman plunder the Sydney carnival for fun and have a chance for another Kiwi victory with Regal Lion (5) who closed hard in the Tulloch on Monday.  Character (8) won that race and commands respect while Forgot You (3) will run another creditable race.

Selections – 1-5-8-3


Race 8 – TJ Smith Stakes (G1, 1200m, WFA)

Does the outside draw and heavy track just get a better price for us on Nature Strip (1) – that’s the way I am going.  Should be able to stalk Eduardo (2) and if he handles it close over the top.  Can see Willie Pike driving Masked Crusader (3) up the inside to try and snatch it and we might just see one for the future in Overpass (9) clattering home.

Selections – 1-2-3-9


Race 9 – The Doncaster (G1, 1600m, HCP)

Thought this was Lighthouse (5) for the taking, but then the 2kg penalty for winning the Coolmore and starting from the carpark has me looking elsewhere.  By Race 9 the carpark might not be a hindrance.  So going with the obvious in Forbidden Love (16) – 5 from 6 in the heavy and down in the weights.  The 3yo Converge (20) has a win over Anamoe in the slush so is a hope and Just Folk (17) looks well weighted on his preferred ground.

Selections – 16-5-20-17



It’s a raffle in the wet so we will go to Bendigo where the fields are big but the track playable.

Leg 1 – 1, 2, 3, 5, 8

Leg 2 – 3, 4, 5, 10

Leg 3 – 1, 6, 8, 14, 16

Leg 4 – 3, 9, 10

300 Combinations, $30 investment returns 10% of the dividend.

Bowled Shane,

Go Blues,

Cheers, Sal


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